Holy Easter Day 2020 NEW DAY COMING! JOHN 20:1-18
Let us begin by giving thanks to God for all the First Responders, medical teams, pharmacies and all others who are working in the front line to help us, during this COVID 19 shutdown.
We must thank God for all the signs of spring, new life returning bit by bit. I heard the sound of geese the other day that carries such promise. Soon trees will bud, flowers and vegetables will pop up from the earth. The crops will get planted in the fields and hopefully we can all return to our daily lives. God is surely unwrapping a new landscape of colour, warmth and importantly health. Days grow longer and we feel hope. SPRING IS COMING!
This year it seems uncanny that we are drawn to the image this weekend of Jesus being laid in the dark tomb and left all alone.I wonder what it was like for Jesus as he waited for resurrection to come; was he dead in a human sense all that time or awake and waiting for God the Father to act. Our imaginations also lead us to this terrible pandemic that causes breathing problems, for some so bad they never recover. Being nailed to the cross caused the lungs to collapse and so caused death. Just as too many wait for the news of loved ones, so Jesus lay in the tomb awaiting resurrection. Meanwhile those who loved Him very much waited for what might happen next. Then dawn comes on Sunday morning and the angel rolls the stone away. As early morning sun streamed into that dank, dark tomb, the ‘angel of the Lord’ removed the funeral cloth covering Jesus face, and the Holy Spirit of God breathed new life into the new body of Jesus. He would show Himself to those who loved Him not as He was on earth, but as He will always be, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ our Lord. He was now restored and renewed, His time on earth nearly over, heaven called to Him to return to His throne.Three days of darkness were over and life was all new! The words the Lord had spoken to His prophet Ezekiel were true, “I will put my Spirit into you and you will live….” Ezekiel 36
We can only imagine Mary’s surprise and joy to be the first to see the resurrected Jesus, after she saw the funeral linens still lay as though the body was within, yet now empty. Mary witnessed what the prophets had dreamed of; THE LORD WAS RISEN; THE MESSIAH HAD COME.
This year as we celebrate Easter, it should take on a deeper meaning for we are experiencing for ourselves living in darkness, confined to a tomb-like existence in this time of lockdown. We fear having our breath stolen away by the deadly virus. Now we know this is the time of waiting as Christ waited in His tomb. This is also a time of expectation, for now we know death has no power over us, for God’s resurrection will raise us up and breath new life into us.
A NEW DAY IS COMING! Friends, we are all resurrection people . We know that the story ends well in victory, for our God is triumphant, even over death. Our life will soon come again in all its busyness and bustle when the virus rules are relaxed, but let us never forget the new things we have learned from this experience. Life can never be as it was before. We shall emerge from this time in part renewed for we shall know what it means to be true good neighbours; people who now cherish being connected to family and friends, to those who deeply care for our well being. We were forced into this shutdown living, but it has been a true gift in many ways to show that above all else people matter most. IT WILL ALL BE NEW! We shall know real joy for we are learning to fully appreciate what being connected means and how it leads to fully appreciating life. The signs are all around you, listen for God’s breath upon you, CELEBRATE THE LIFE GOD HAS GIVEN! YOU! LIVE AS RESURRECTION PEOPLE. AMEN.